FreightCaviar Podcast: How the Silicon Valley of Europe is Birthing Next-Gen Freight Tech

In this episode of the FreightCaviar Podcast, we chat with the Founder and CEO of rouvia, Benjamin Noyan. He gives his insights on freight tech and the future of the industry.

FreightCaviar Podcast: How the Silicon Valley of Europe is Birthing Next-Gen Freight Tech

Today, we sat down with Benjamin Noyan, Founder and CEO of rouvia, a transport planning and management platform. Benjamin discusses the freight tech scene in Berlin, why it’s considered the Silicon Valley of Europe, and the future of freight forwarding.

Berlin's Status as "Silicon Valley of Europe"

We started off our conversation by discussing why Berlin is considered the Silicon Valley of Europe. In Benjamin’s opinion, the reason is simple: talent. “You've also seen it since the war in Ukraine started. You have a lot of Russians, and really skilled Russian developers, who move to Berlin, which obviously creates huge opportunities for any startup that wants to build tech solutions.”

Fragmentation in the European Intermodal Industry

Benjamin then touched on the subject of fragmentation in the European intermodal industry and the infrastructure differences with the US. He said, “If you look back on the history, I think the reason is slightly different. It's mainly an infrastructure topic. I think almost all countries in Europe, maybe leaving out some countries in Eastern Europe, have heavily invested in public transport infrastructure. And with this, you build out a huge railway network.”

The Genius of rouvia

He also explained the genius of rouvia. What it does is, it can tell you who the different providers are across the different modes of transport, across the different regional specificities like depots, and terminals. It can also tell you the price that you're going to pay for the transport even before you procure or quote on it. In a nutshell, what rouvia does is “turn the industry a bit from being very experience and relationship-driven to being data-driven and thereby cost optimizing both selling as well as buying decisions.”

The Freight Forwarding Industry Shift

When asked about the freight forwarding industry and the current shift from relationship-driven to data-driven, Benjamin has a clear answer: he thinks one can exist parallel to the other. In his opinion “relationships are still key in the industry and I think they're highly important because, in the end, purely just working on data is not going to solve all problems for you.”

Future Role of Freight Forwarders

Benjamin also shared his thoughts on the future role of freight forwarders in the industry and how technology might change the landscape. He doesn’t think freight forwarders won’t exist; they will just be more specialized and will need to increase specialization in certain industries because “the plain vanilla business will move more directly between shipper and carrier relationships.”

rouvia's Vision

As for rouvia? Benjamin and his team have a clear goal: the creation of a tool with which, with a single click, you can actually do the entire booking and procurement process, and the tool can decide itself, based on logic, to go with option one. If option one doesn't have the capacity, go with option two; if it doesn't have capacity, go with option three so that the user doesn't have to request for different carriers.”

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